Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th May 2014, 14:52   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

I had about 12 days in hand ex-delhi in April last /May first week. Initially, I had planned for a Ladakh run with a few more leaves added in but since the elections were so close, I decided to postpone that trip to some other time and started looking at other options. Himachal was on top of my list seeing all the wonderful logs from this place. But as the travel dates drew closer, I was not even sure if I could go ahead with the trip. It was pretty uncertain till almost the last day. So much so, that I started packing only at 11pm to leave the next day at 6am. So finally, I set out with 7 days in hand from Delhi.

Broadly, I had planned to cover these places - Chail, Narkanda, Sarahan, Kalpa, Sangla, Rakcham, Chitkul. Not in any particular order. But, Mr.Murphy had other plans and I could not cover a few of them. Maybe, it was a good thing after all as I now have a reason to go back to the Devbhoomi.

Day1
07:40 Delhi
09:05 Murthal
12:45 Panchkula
15:40 Chail

Started a little late than I would have liked, but thankfully, traffic was not as bad and we were out of Delhi by 8:15 am. Relaxed crusing saw us reaching murthal by 9 am. Stopped at Sukhdev for breakfast - about 40 mins break.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-1.jpg

It was from here that fruits of my last minute packing started paying off . I had forgotten my Aux cable at home - had to buy one. As soon as I sat in the car, it dawned on me that I had left even my iPod at home! I started making an improvement list, so that I don't forget/miss important stuff on such trips henceforth.
#1 Aux cable
#2 Ipod

After breakfast, it was a non-stop run to Chail. Checked in at Hotel Ekant at 3:40 pm. This hotel is a little before Chail Palace or the actual Chail entry so to say. Nice place to stay - neat and clean, staff was good too. Food could have been better but after the day's drive I just needed a nice comfy bed.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-2.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-3.jpg

The air was chilly enough to make me take out the improvement list yet again.
#3 Light woolens if visiting a hill station

Rest of the day was spent admiring the views around and relaxing.

Day2
10:15 Chail
11:00 Kufri
12:30 Narkanda

After a heavy indian breakfast in the hotel, we set off from Chail at 10:15am. Just around the corner discovered a "check-post". . Couple of local kids manning a makeshift post collecting some "green tax" for entry to chail. Wait. Wasn't I staying in Chail? Apparently not. The guys give me a cold stare and say Chail starts from here. Damn, now I don't even know what place I enjoyed so much yesterday. Anyway, couple of greens exchanged and we start again. The Chail palace entry passes by, nice colorful flags dot the entrance ramp. Maybe next time we will stay here. We soon pass the Chail cricket ground, seems smallish compared to what I had seen in pics, but not really sure if it indeed was the "one".

The road to-from Chail was completely devoid of traffic. Altough narrow, it was nice to drive on. As soon as I took out the cams, I had to reach for my improvement list yet again.
#4 Gopro mounts

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-4.jpg

By 11:00 we reached Kufri. What a place! It was crowded as hell. Haphazard parking by the taxis meant we had to spend some time here. There was a nice clearing where a gentleman wanted me to park the car for 80 bucks and explore the kufri market (half of which was still sleepy), take a horse ride to some view point and also checkout a nearby mueseum. Gave it a pass seeing the amount of people around. I didn't want to stand in a queue! We chose Chail for the peace it offered from the hustle and bustle of a biggish town.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-5.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-6.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-7.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-14.jpg

Reached Narkanda by 12 pm and headed straight to Hotel Hatu. After having lunch and securing a room for the night, we left for Hatu peak in a hired Alto. It was quite cold already thanks to the lovely breeze. On the way, stopped by the market and picked up jackets. The last 1 km trek was quite tiring, and there was lot of snow on the path. The temple is really beautiful and completely made of wood. The views from the top though made us forget the pain. Spent some good amount of time here sitting, walking, just soaking in the views.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-8.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-9.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-10.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-11.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-12.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-13.jpg

Came back to the hotel, enjoyed the nice weather, breeze and views with evening tea in the lawns. Sorry no pics of the hotel! Where's that improvement list -
#5 Click pics of the property you stay at!
Dry Ice is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2014, 15:01   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Day3
09:00 Narkanda
13:00 Wangtu
14:00 Karcham turnoff
14:30 Sangla
15:00 Rakcham

This was the day I was looking forward to the most! We would be entering the Kinnaur Valley afterall. The roads were not too wide but I wasn't complaining - the views completely made up for it! Nice music (luckily was carrying a lappy - transferred the music to a PD and the ipod+aux mistake was somewhat mitigated!), cool breeze, good roads - it almost felt like a dream run!

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-15.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-16.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-17.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-18.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-19.jpg

Until just after a turn, the road vanished! I was like "What the .... .... !!" It was a bumpy dusty road all the way from here. I didn't know it then, and was hoping it would improve soon! Though it got better in patches, but overall, it was not nice driving on such a "road". Having tanked up at Narkanda, fuel was not a problem, so gave the station at Tapri a miss.

After the Karcham dam turnoff, all hell broke lose! The road became narrower and it was completely lose soil! No sign of tarmac. This continued for a while till we gained some altitute and started noticing tarmac on and off along with the "Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojna" boards! A temple came, we prayed and moved on. By now, the sun was completely in clouds and it seemed it will start raining any minute! Since the roads had improved somewhat, we could manage some decent speed. On a hairpin, I just casually mentioned," what will happen if a bus comes now?" and on the next turn - there it was, a fully loaded HPTDC Bus! Seeing the driver almost felt like he will say, your wish is my command! Damn, why didn't I wish for a million bucks! Anyway, I had to reverse about 100 or so meters to give passage to the bus. It was not an easy exercise and I sure as hell don't want to do it again. Ever.

We reached Sangla at 2:30pm. The town seemed rather sleepy, with only a few shops open and virtually no one on the streets. Saw the PWD GH and it was overflowing with vehicles! Maybe coz election was scheduled in a day or two there - so no hope of getting a room here. We moved on. Weather started changing dramatically and it started drizzling by the time we checked in at Rupin River View. There was a big local group sitting in the restaurant for lunch and a family from Punjab. We chatted for a while, ordered lunch and retired to our room.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-20.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-21.jpg

In the evening, it seemed like the peaks were getting some fresh snowfall. After a while it started raining like mad! It didn't stop untill the next morning! Now that made me super tensed as I thought the road would be in terrible shape, especially after the rain!

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-22.jpg

Day4
11:30 Rakcham
15:45 Sarahan

Woke up lazily at 8am or so. Seeing the sun shining was a relief. We headed out to the river bank after breakfast. Took some pics/videos and moved back to the hotel. Today's agenda was to explore Chitkul and then move to Kalpa. But it was not to be!

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-23.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-24.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-25.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-26.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-27.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-27b.jpg

Got a call from home, and I had to be back in Chandigarh in 2 days! Packed up my stuff, checked out from the hotel and wanted to reach at least till Narkanda.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-28.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-29.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-30.jpg

Enroute, saw the direction to Sarahan, and remembered about the temple. Had read about it on the forum quite a few times and also people had recommended this place. So took the detour of about 17 kms from the main highway at Jeori. Once at Sarahan, asked for the HPTDC Sarahan, and luckily they had a room available!
Dry Ice is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2014, 15:03   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Day 5
09:20 Sarahan
14:30 Shimla
19:00 Chandigarh

After visiting the temple, and some shopping in the market, headed out from Sarahan.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-31.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-32.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-33.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-34.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-35.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-36.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-37.jpg

We crossed Narkanda around 12:30pm. Though initially had planned to stop at Hatu for lunch but wasn't feeling hungry, so carried on. Thought of checking out Shimla on the way back since we had skipped it earlier. After having lunch and spending some time at the Mall road, wasn't too impressed plus the heat was getting to me here. It felt as if I was already in Delhi! Skipped the Church and the Institute of Advanced Studies visit. Maybe on another trip. Reached my cousin's place in Chandigarh by 7pm.

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-38.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-39.jpg

A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan-41.jpg

Day6
12:30 Chandigarh
17:10 Delhi

Home run! The most boring part of the trip. Due to traffic in Delhi, it took us almost 5 hours door-to-door.
Dry Ice is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2014, 20:03   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Garden State
Posts: 49
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Superb Travelogue. Brought back memories of my trip with inlaws to Karcham / Poo way back in 2006. The Sutlej in all its fury is a force to reckon with.
f1dotcom is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2014, 01:21   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: India
Posts: 349
Thanked: 91 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Hi

Those are some amazing pictures you have got there!

I am planning a trip to spiti valley in the first week of June. I intend to take my Rapid.

I am a bit apprehensive with respect to the road conditions. Could you please throw more light on the road conditions. Do you think roads pose problems for a sedan in this region?

I am aware it will not be a cake walk but after reading travelogues I feel it is doable with a bit of caution.

Also, please share the details of the place you stayed at. Would a stay at Narkanda be more advisable than at Rampur? After either of these, my second stay would be at Sangla and finally Kaza.

Thanks and regards
torque18 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2014, 08:44   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Quote:
Originally Posted by torque18 View Post
Hi

Those are some amazing pictures you have got there!

I am planning a trip to spiti valley in the first week of June. I intend to take my Rapid.

I am a bit apprehensive with respect to the road conditions. Could you please throw more light on the road conditions. Do you think roads pose problems for a sedan in this region?

I am aware it will not be a cake walk but after reading travelogues I feel it is doable with a bit of caution.

Also, please share the details of the place you stayed at. Would a stay at Narkanda be more advisable than at Rampur? After either of these, my second stay would be at Sangla and finally Kaza.

Thanks and regards
The only place where you might face problem is after the diversion to Sangla. Karcham dam onwards, there were a few patches where good GC helped. In a sedan, you might have to stop and check for best approach before proceeding. Narkanda is a good stay option. Small and peaceful. Rampur seemed rather busy and a bigger place. I didn't stop at Rampur.

After Sangla/Rakcham you might wanna stop over at Nako before finally going for Kaza.

Places I stayed at -

Chail - Hotel Ekant
Narkanda - HPTDC, The Hatu
Rakcham - Rupin River View
Sarahan - HPTDC, The Shrikhand
Dry Ice is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2014, 14:16   #7
BHPian
 
yogeshnaik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 311
Thanked: 40 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

An excellent narration on your travel. The pictures came very nice too! If possible I would like to know on how the Scorpio performed during the whole travel on and off the road. Also, please highlight some more on the camera used to take the pictures. Is that the fuel you get on hill stations have the same density as that of Delhi?

Again, great thanks for providing useful information on the weather, hotels and the roads during your expedition.
yogeshnaik is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2014, 15:48   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogeshnaik View Post
An excellent narration on your travel. The pictures came very nice too! If possible I would like to know on how the Scorpio performed during the whole travel on and off the road. Also, please highlight some more on the camera used to take the pictures. Is that the fuel you get on hill stations have the same density as that of Delhi?

Again, great thanks for providing useful information on the weather, hotels and the roads during your expedition.
About the Scorpio - It behaved well - no issues as such. On the return leg at times I felt it wasn't pulling that well. Came back, gave it for its 1st service, and asked them specifically to clean the air filter/ HVAC filter. That solved the problem. It must have been due to the extremely dusty ~80km Wangtu - Rakcham -Wangtu stretch.

Sorry! Didn't check the density while filling up. Theoretically though, at lesser temperatures, it should be more! So maybe slightly more in the hills.
Dry Ice is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2014, 17:28   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Banaglore
Posts: 262
Thanked: 291 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Bhpians who are planning trips to Himachal may want to do it soon.
The Himachal government is planning to make Himachal the "cement bowl" of India http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/201...himachal.htm#1

You may just find more particulate matter here than Delhi. And of course traffic jams with thousands of trucks. People who have traveled from Kiratpur to Bilaspur would know what i am talking about.
JediKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2014, 01:37   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: India
Posts: 349
Thanked: 91 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
The only place where you might face problem is after the diversion to Sangla. Karcham dam onwards, there were a few patches where good GC helped. In a sedan, you might have to stop and check for best approach before proceeding. Narkanda is a good stay option. Small and peaceful. Rampur seemed rather busy and a bigger place. I didn't stop at Rampur.

After Sangla/Rakcham you might wanna stop over at Nako before finally going for Kaza.

Places I stayed at -

Chail - Hotel Ekant
Narkanda - HPTDC, The Hatu
Rakcham - Rupin River View
Sarahan - HPTDC, The Shrikhand
Hey thanks!

I am planning a stopover at narkanda followed by kalpa and finally Kaza?

Sangla and chitkul region I shall explore while returning if the time permits.

Also, would you be having any idea of the road conditions beyond Rakcham? Poo and Nako region?

Regards
torque18 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2014, 13:38   #11
BHPian
 
maverick.munish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Shimla, Delhi
Posts: 72
Thanked: 29 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Hello Dry ice

The travelogue has been very well put up.
Kudos for the pictures as well.

Being from Shimla myself, the only blot in the entire journey seems to be your choice of skipping the IIAS. It would have been worth the visit.
I stay pretty close to IIAS myself, and trust me, all my friends who have been inside the IIAS have been mightly impressed.
It was for no reason that the President of India came and stayed there during his summer sojourn for long periods of time. Anyways there is always a next time.
All in all an interesting route travelled.

Aside, Did you manage to steal some apples and peaches on your way to Sangla.
maverick.munish is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2014, 11:39   #12
BHPian
 
Sleeplessdriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: KA51,MH12,SIN
Posts: 39
Thanked: 30 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Excellent Travelogue DryIce. Its like living the drive by just looking at the pictures. Its your first trip with a new partner . Doesn't mean you forget old pals. Our next trip to the valley is pending and on the cards. All the best for a wonderful life ahead my friend. Best wishes to the new couple.
Sleeplessdriver is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2014, 10:01   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,521
Thanked: 2,253 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by torque18 View Post
Hey thanks!

I am planning a stopover at narkanda followed by kalpa and finally Kaza?

Sangla and chitkul region I shall explore while returning if the time permits.

Also, would you be having any idea of the road conditions beyond Rakcham? Poo and Nako region?

Regards
Kalpa to Kaza would be a long day. When I was planning for this trip, had read the road conditions were pretty bad near Poo. Not sure of the current condition.




Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick.munish View Post
..... the only blot in the entire journey seems to be your choice of skipping the IIAS.
....
Did you manage to steal some apples and peaches on your way to Sangla.
Yes, I regret having missed it. Next trip I plan to halt and explore it at leisure. Sure has a lot of history attached to it.

Apples.. No, didn't get any! When is the best time btw to go apple hunting?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeplessdriver View Post
Our next trip to the valley is pending and on the cards
HaHa.. Thanks!! And sure, start planning ;-)!!
Dry Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2014, 12:17   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: thane
Posts: 281
Thanked: 15 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

a wonderful travelogue!!! made me remember my trip in 2012 in toto skipping shimla taking the chail route.narkanda hatu peak drastic descent to rampur and climb to sarahan phew all those pics you have taken brought memories flooding back.
praveen

Last edited by pravdr : 1st June 2014 at 12:18. Reason: spelling mistake
pravdr is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th June 2014, 16:14   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 9
Thanked: 4 Times
Default Re: A short trip to Himachal: Chail - Narkanda - Rakcham - Sarahan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
About the Scorpio - It behaved well - no issues as such. On the return leg at times I felt it wasn't pulling that well. Came back, gave it for its 1st service, and asked them specifically to clean the air filter/ HVAC filter. That solved the problem. It must have been due to the extremely dusty ~80km Wangtu - Rakcham -Wangtu stretch.

Sorry! Didn't check the density while filling up. Theoretically though, at lesser temperatures, it should be more! So maybe slightly more in the hills.
I am planning to do Kinnaur sector with my Fortuner 4x2. Basically, Reckong Peo, Sangla, etc. Will it be appropriate in your opinion to do this in a 4x2 during July ? Keeping in view the muddy patches in between which might prove tricky in rain...
rps1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Road Trip to Chail -> Kufri -> Shimla -> Chandigarh sinharishi Travelogues 10 5th October 2016 22:44
A quick trip to Shimla, Narkanda and chail v&v Travelogues 32 25th December 2015 13:31
Planning 3-day trip in Chail/Shimla/Kufri Shutterbugger Route / Travel Queries 5 24th July 2015 08:07
The White Album - Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh Soumik Ghosh Travelogues 4 12th January 2015 12:16
Trip to Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan in June 2010: help with itinerary akp Route / Travel Queries 88 17th May 2011 18:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:58.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks